“Robinson Crusoe Cabbage Tree”
Rescued from the brink of extinction, this wonderfully strange tree hails from Robinson Crusoe Island off the coast of Chile. Said to be the inspiration for the story of Robinson Crusoe, Scottish buccaneer Alexander Selkirk was marooned on the island for 4 years, surviving on edible plants like this one and feral goats, which almost wiped out the population of this tree. Fortunately, botanists collected seed from the remaining 3 plants! One of our rarest offerings, it grows rather quickly to 6’ x 6’ here by the Bay, with big glossy, almost rubbery evergreen tropicalesque leaves to 1’ long. Unexpected, super-double and vivid orange 3” dandelion-like flowers appear June thru August, dangling from strange powdery white stems. Requires relatively cool Summers and, though it can tolerate a few degrees of frost, it’s best protected from frost. Rich, loamy soil and an annual 2” side-dress of compost. Can be grown indoors in a large container.